TWO of Nissan's four starters on the V8 Supercars grid next year will carry alcohol advertising - despite an alcohol ad ban hanging over the race series' safety car.
Kelly Racing chairman John Crennan says the Jack Daniels whiskey sponsorship that currently adorns the Holdens driven by brothers Rick and Todd Kelly will carry across to the Nissan-badged car.
The move is in stark contrast to Nissan's tough stance on the company-supplied GT-R supercar used as a safety car in 2009, which resulted in the car company terminating the deal only a few months into the season.
Nissan Australia executive general manager of sales and fleet, Ian Moreillon, told Drive that while it was uncomfortable with beer advertising on the GT-R, it would be happy with the Jack Daniels livery on the V8 Supercar wearing its badge.
"When XXXX was on the GT-R, it happened in a way that we were not totally comfortable with at the time," Moreillon says.
"It became a large sponsor on the car, it was probably a bit beyond what our understanding was. Secondly, the fact that alcohol was linked to a vehicle that was called a safety car, and alcohol and safety don't mix.
"If you look at that as a responsible automotive manufacturer and marketer, you wouldn't do that."
"Jack Daniels is an organisation that puts a lot of resource and energy into making sure that the responsible drinking of alcohol is very present, and public in all of their advertising - even on the cars," he says.
"We're comfortable with that because they're a quality organisation that represents themselves in that very strong message.
"We're the safety car again this year, but it's not worth putting alcohol sponsorship on the safety car - simple as that."
Crennan says the Kelly brothers' sponsors were involved early on in the Nissan deal.
"Nissan's Leaf [electric car] program is based in Tennessee, as is Jack Daniels," Crennan says. "The synergies are quite amazing."
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